Imagine if Spaniards only ate fish from their own waters. Yesterday, Spain ran out of its own fish stocks, and now will have to depend on imports from other countries - for the rest of the year.
May 8th marked Fish Dependence Day in Spain, about two months ahead of Fish Dependence Day for the entire EU. Alarmingly, these dates are arriving earlier every year. Meaning that, because our own stocks are being over-fished, we have become increasingly dependent on foreign imports. While our grocery shelves are stocked with seemingly endless supplies of fresh, glistening fish, about half of the fish available in the EU comes from other countries – not a good sign for the health of our global fisheries.
It´s widely known that whales are among the largest animals on earth. But what other giants lie beneath the surface of the seas? Unlike giant animals roaming on land such as elephants and hippos, it´s trickier to explore the vast and immense oceans - and so much remains undiscovered.
Nevertheless, scientists have encountered a few surprising giants of the sea, including the aptly named whale shark. The world´s largest living fish can measure up to an intimidating13 m, but this gentle filter-feeder mostly eats plankton.
Normally, a thick meadow of lush algae is what you´d expect to see in healthy, thriving ocean ecosystems, right? Actually, it depends on the species. It´s certainly not a good sign if that green carpet turns out to be Cualerpa taxifolia, one of the deadliest invaders of the Mediterranean.
We all know that our oceans are home to a dazzling and diverse array of animals like dolphins, whales, fish and corals. But have you heard of ghost shrimp, giant spiny lobster, yeti crab or xenophyophores? These are just a few of many recently discovered species in our oceans, unveiled by the Census of Marine Life. In a span of ten years, more than 6000 potentially new species have been discovered in this global effort to determine the extent of biodiversity in our oceans.
It seems there is no limit to the extreme environments these strange, brave creatures call home. Many nooks and crannies of our oceans are occupied – including rocky seamount slopes, deep ocean trenches devoid of light,